Summer is traditionally a time when activity quietens down in the build up to the autumn rush, offering a great opportunity to recharge and think more strategically about your next career move and what you want growth-wise. It is also the time when organisations reflect on the skills they are short on, exciting new roles emerge or key positions need to be replaced. Some of the busiest periods in the working calendar are in the run-up to Christmas so it’s crucial to take stock, reflect and set new priorities to for the months ahead, and to make the most of the hiring opportunities out there if you are considering a move.
If you do fall into the category of actively or passively seeking a change in careers, here are some things to think about before taking the plunge:-
1. Job Match
First and foremost is whether or not the job you are eyeing-out is a good fit? If the role does not tap into your true motives and desires or your skills are not transferrable, then it is probably not a good fit.
2. The Challenge
Is the position going to stretch you? Or is it the same title, but different company scenario where you are going to be bored and frustrated in 6 months time? You have to truly think about some of the reasons you want to leave your current situation. The underlying factor may just be that you are stuck. You are going nowhere. It is not always about the change in pay (which IS important, don’t misunderstand here) but sometimes the change in pay is not enough if the challenge the new role presents is not enough to take you to the limits.
Does what you do in the new role have an impact on where you want to be long term? You may have to take a step backwards, or move sideways to go forwards so evaluate the bigger picture when considering a change.
4. Your Own Learning and Growth
What is the future of the role? Where do you go from there? You want to have some clearly defined “paths” to growth. This can also lead to discouragement if you know you are stuck and going nowhere, much less learning anything new. You can be a little selfish here. Not necessarily the “what’s in it for me” attitude, but rather “what can I do to contribute to my own growth and help the organisation in it’s overall objectives” type attitude. It needs to be a win-win.
5. Team Quality
Who will you be working with? What level are they at currently? How have they progressed within the organisation? Not only does this give you a clearer understanding of the growth others are seeing, but these will be people you are working with everyday. You will develop new friendships. You will become like them. There is an old proverb that says, “Keep company with good men and good men you will imitate”. Are these the type of people you can see yourself imitating? Do they have the attitude of “your success is our success?”
6. Leadership Quality
Equally important is the quality of leadership. Like the team members, how is the team led? Is this leader a good mentor? How involved is the manager in the recruiting process? There should be ample opportunity to discuss this and learn of the leaders that make the organisation what it is so you can determine whether or not that the way they lead aligns with your principles and in helping you be successful.
7. Company Culture
This can be a tough one to sort out at first, but see if the company has a mission statement or philosophy that is posted in prominent work locations for employees to see. See if they have company newsletters you can read and learn more about the organisation and the leaders (who probably have written an article or two). Look at the atmosphere of the office. Is it professional in it’s look? Remember that no company is perfect, but there should be some clear objectives in place and most employees should know about them.
8. Strategy and the Future
Where is the company headed? What are some goals and aspirations they have? Are these aspirations you can see yourself supporting and enjoying? Obviously the organisation can sit down with you and share the secret sauce, but they should be able to talk about future plans and goals they are looking to achieve. Without these clearly defined, where are they going? How do they plan on getting to where they want to be?
Today’s corporations have to consider the work/life balance that all of us are faced with everyday. Of course the organisation has certain expectations, which is great. That is why you are looking at them, but if they require so much that other “life” things are hard to balance, you may want to reconsider. We are not saying that you can’t work hard, but do consider the impact this could have on your personal life.
Ah…the perks. Every organisation differs and sometimes it can be like comparing apples to oranges, but there is some commonality in this area. Be open to trading one thing for another if necessary as long as it has more importance for you than the “other” thing. Be careful of hype here as well. Don’t let them “sell” you on it. You need to sell yourself on it. You need to make the decision here. Do what makes sense for you, and is competitive!
If you’re interested in making an intelligent move then start by looking at our Latest Jobs page now, or get in touch to discuss your ideals.